The perched outcrop


Tauras Hill rises like a mound in the middle of Vilnius city. Its appearance is striking, its topography inviting.

And yet its usage so far appears scarce.

What if we were to heighten the drama of the hill?

What if we were to enhance its sensual experience? What would the hill do to assert its presence in the city?

We imagine earth formations erupting from atop the hill’s summit, like rocky outcrops that rise towards the sky.

They are striking in their geometry and suddenness.

And yet they are unusually harmonious with the terrain and with the undulating roof forms of the larger neighbourhood.

Here is a building that wants to make culture and music the heart of the city.

The visitor, curious on seeing the outcrops, climbs the hill to explore.

The austere and solid faces of the carved masses don’t reveal what lies inside them. But on climbing a little higher up, he notices a blanket of undulating roofs.

These extend towards the landscape, seeming to invite him towards it. This is an invitation to climb-atop, to see the city’s panoramic view from on-high.

This is an invitation also to walk through. Once within the plinth, the visitor sees he is within a public ‘street’.

He can see the city from here and yet; this is a space the people can make their own.

The street also invites him to walk towards the neighbourhood beyond. There is activity everywhere, he sees now. The parks beyond are revitalized with life.

Flanking two edges of this indoor public street are the concert halls. They feel no longer as austere as the outcrops he had seen from outside. Instead, gentle wood paneling create texture.

It is an invitation to enter an almost chapel-like space, with light streaming in from above, under whose bathed glow music is born.

There is an unusual harmony in this building between both an invitation to activity and movement, and an invitation to sacredness and contemplation.

The perched outcrop | date : 2019 | location : Vilnius, Lithuania | surface : 15.000 m2 | team : Madhusudhan Chalasani, Javier Ugarte Albizu, Carlos Gonzalvo, Jesus Garrido Valdivia, Bharat Kumar, Vamsi Krishna, Bob Peniel, Niharika Sanyal, Mario Acosta Bejarano | client : Municipality of Vilnius | status : International Competition